LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - LaGrange is kicking off the holiday season in style.
On Thursday, they had a tree lighting ceremony complete with Santa, two of his elves and Frosty in Lafayette Plaza. Santa was hanging with children and families from three until the two story tree was light up at 6 p.m.
Right before the countdown, the people of LaGrange gathered in the plaza and sang a few Christmas carols.
Mayor Jim Thornton loves this time of year and showed it with his red suit.
"This is the big Christmas event in our downtown area and its always very exciting and tonight the weather cooperated it is really starting to feel like Christmas," Thornton said.
Swarms of people came out for the tree lighting and parade.
"I mean thousands of people will come out for the parade. It's amazing," said Barbie Watts of the Downtown Lagrange Development Authority.
The mayor said that there were 15,000 people at last year's Christmas parade, and half of the entire population of LaGrange was in the downtown section.
The main attraction in the parade had to be the Budweiser Clydesdales.
"This is the second year in a row we have had the Budweiser Clydesdales, I think it is very exciting the kids love it, those are very impressive horses, it is a sight worth seeing," said Mayor Thornton.
The Clydesdales are not done in LaGrange. On Friday, they will be at an award ceremony for the LaGrange Super Market who will be receiving an Ambassador of Excellence award.
This year's parade carried a special theme: Star Spangled Christmas. This gave the city of LaGrange the opportunity to thank our men and women in the armed services and our veterans.
The Grand Marshall of Thursday's parade was a veteran himself.
"We are delighted that they chose to recognize the veterans and toys for tots at this particular event," said the Grand Marshall Bernard Bledsoe.
Just as in any Christmas parade, the night concluded with Santa bringing up the rear of the parade on a fire truck.